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MN man charged with the killings of La Crosse man and son


LA CROSSE, WI (WTAQ) - A Minnesota man has been charged in the killings of a La Crosse man and his son at their photography store last month.

39-year-old Jeffry Lepsch of Dakota Minnesota was stopped as he drove away from his home Wednesday afternoon.

He surrendered without incident, after a warrant was issued charging him with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He’s due in court in Winona Thursday on a request to extradite him to Wisconsin to face charges in the deaths of 56-year-old Paul Petras and his 19-year-old son A.J.

They were shot September 15th at May’s Photo in downtown La Crosse.

A criminal complaint was not immediately available. La Crosse Police plan to say more at a news conference Thursday.

Winona County authorities searched the suspect’s car and house. They said they found important evidence, but would not say if the murder weapon turned up.

The La Crosse Tribune said Lepsch spent a year in jail after he pleaded no contest to stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise from an Ace Hardware distribution center where he worked in La Crosse.

He was arrested for that in 2003. Petras’s widow Sherri told the Tribune she never heard of Lepsch.